(Blogging from the road here. The hotel has WiFi in the rooms, but I couldn't get enough signal to get an IP address, so after 30 minutes on the phone with tech support I moved to the bar, where the singal strength is excellent. Were I of a more suspicious nature I'd wonder if that was on purpose, but since they didn't force me to buy a drink and are letting me click away in peace, I'll overlook it.
Since I worked so hard to get online, I may as well take advantage of the opportunity, so...)
Now this is standing up for principles.
The Thermals, a rambunctious rock band from Portland, Ore., were en route between gigs last year when they got a phone call from their label, Sub Pop. Hummer wanted to pay them $50,000 for the right to use their song "It's Trivia" in a commercial.
"We thought about it for about 15 seconds, maybe," lead singer Hutch Harris said.
They said no.
Washington D.C.'s Trans Am were offered $180,000 by Hummer for the song "Total Information Awareness."
"We figured it was almost like giving music to the Army, or Exxon," guitarist Philip Manley said.
They said no.
The post-punk band LiLiPUT, who broke up more than 20 years ago, could have pocketed $50,000 for "Heidi's Head" after making close to nothing during their five-year existence. But they, too, said no.
"At least I can sleep without nightmares," Marlene Marder reasoned.
Lyle Hysen runs Bank Robber Music, a licensing group that pitches songs to film, television and advertisement companies. He's gotten his clients featured in shows like "Six Feet Under" and "The L Word" and in car ads by Volkswagen and Jaguar.
Hummer, however, has been a nonstarter.
"My standard line is you guys will play a hundred million gigs before you see this amount of money," Hysen said. "Usually they come back with, 'We'll do anything BUT Hummer.'"